Collaborative Partnership on Forests Launches Process to Scale Up Forest and Landscape Restoration in the Tropics
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WRI calculates that the “global restoration opportunity” for FLR could be as much as two billion hectares of land worldwide, making a substantial contribution to SDG 15 (life on land) and other targets and commitments embodied in related international processes and declarations.

The First Expert Group Meeting for FLR in the Tropics launched a process to develop comprehensive guidance for harnessing the productive, environmental and social capacities of restored degraded tropical forests, taking into consideration emerging global issues and priorities.

5 April 2019: A report, published under the auspices of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), sets out key elements to be considered by programmes working to scale up forest landscape restoration (FLR) in tropical regions. The report summarizes the outcomes of the First Expert Group Meeting for FLR in the Tropics, which launched a process to develop comprehensive guidance for harnessing the productive, environmental and social capacities of restored degraded tropical forests, taking into consideration emerging global issues and priorities.

Economic valuations by the Center for International Forest Research (CIFOR), among others, estimate that USD 6.3 trillion is lost per year to land degradation. The World Resources Institute (WRI) calculates that the “global restoration opportunity” for FLR could be as much as two billion hectares of land worldwide, making a substantial contribution to SDG 15 (life on land) and other targets and commitments embodied in related international processes and declarations. According to FLR researchers, meeting the Bonn Challenge alone – a global effort to bring 350 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land into restoration by 2030 – could deliver a net benefit of USD 0.7 trillion to 9 trillion and achieve “USD 7-30 in economic benefits for every dollar invested.”

The FLR Expert Group Meeting, which took place in Bangkok, Thailand, in November 2018 was convened by the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization and Thailand’s Royal Forestry Department. In response to a request to ITTO by the CPF’s Joint Initiative on Forest and Landscape Restoration, the objective of the meeting was to review the 2002 ITTO Guidelines for the Restoration, Management and Rehabilitation of Degraded and Secondary Tropical Forests (ITTO Guidelines), as well as experiences from ongoing FLR programmes of CPF members.

Meeting the Bonn Challenge could achieve USD 7-30 in economic benefits for every dollar invested.

The results of the meeting will contribute to the development of a comprehensive technical and policy guide for restoring degraded tropical forests and forestlands, with the aim of achieving a more sustainable approach to land use and increasing the social and ecological benefits of FLR. The revision process will also seek to integrate the ITTO Guidelines with a set of six “globally agreed” FLR principles, developed under the auspices of the Global Partnership on Forest and Landscape Restoration (GPFLR) in 2018.

The six principles are: focusing on the landscape scale; engaging stakeholders and supporting participatory governance; restoring multiple forest functions for multiple benefits; maintaining and enhancing natural ecosystems within landscapes; tailoring restoration approaches to the local context by using a variety of approaches; and managing adaptively for long-term resilience.

A first draft of the new Guidelines is due to be finalized for review at the second FLR Expert Group Meeting, scheduled to take place from 11-13 June 2019, in Lüderenalp, Switzerland.

The 2002 ITTO Guidelines were published in collaboration with CIFOR, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and WWF International. Other FLR tools include: IUCN’s Restoration Opportunity Assessment Methodology (ROAM, 2014); FAO’s ‘Global Guidelines for the Restoration of Degraded Forests and Landscapes in Drylands’ (2015); the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) guide on ‘Implementing Forest Landscape Restoration’ (2017); ‘Principles for FLR,’ (GPFLR, 2018); and ‘Decision Support Tools for Forest and Landscape Restoration: Current Status and Future Outlook’ (CIFOR, 2018). [Publication: Report of the First Expert Group Meeting for Forest Landscape Restoration in the Tropics] [ITTO Press Release]

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